Tag Archives: recovery

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When In A Funk

Yoga. Running. Writing. Connection. Podcasts. Reading. 

Those are some of the things that make me feel good, make my recovery flourish. So why is it that when I get into a funk, like I have been the last couple weeks, do I find that is the most difficult to get up and do these things? I KNOW what makes me happy and makes me feel content. Yet, I choose to do the opposite.

Sleep. Watch TV nonstop. Isolate. Dwell on the negative. Compare.

It’s times like this that it seems everyone on social media is having the time of their lives. “They” are all having a blast and living out their dreams right there in front of me. Or so it seems. So I flip them all off and it makes me feel better. Somewhat.

Comparison is a joy killer!!!

I’m not quite sure why I’ve been in this funk, I do know that it will pass. Eventually. I spoke with someone today about sobriety and how we used alcohol to fill the void. I explained to them that alcohol was the solution, a really shitty solution, but still a solution. It temporarily removed the frustration and discomfort of feeling life on life terms. So, when we get sober and the void is there, we aren’t exactly sure what to do. We no longer want the consequences that go along with our drinking, but there we are, having to feel all the feelings and shit. So many feelings, so many emotions, coming at us all at once. It’s overwhelming. Even at 776 days sober, the feelings are overwhelming. Especially when I’m choosing not to do the things that fill the void. Especially when I’m choosing to sit in the negative and refusing to see the bigger picture.

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Actually, if I’m 100% honest with myself, I do know what’s wrong with me. 

There are people, places, and things that are not the way I want them at this very moment. Yes, I admit it. I’m a control freak. I hate when things don’t go my way. I can NOT stand when someone is not doing what I want them to do. I can go days and even months without being bothered by people, places, and things. Not today though! Not the last week! Nope. Instead I am dwelling on the things that aren’t the way I want them. I am laying in bed crying over the people that aren’t the way I want them to be. I am restless, irritable, and discontent.

Does anyone else relate to this nonsense ^^^

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It’s sort of like me and my drinking. I wasn’t going to stop until the pain of changing was less than the pain of staying the same. I can take a lot of pain I’ve come to find. Also, it didn’t matter how many people wanted me to change, I was NOT going to change until I was ready. I had to hurt enough to want to do something different.

Thy will, not mine, be done!

A few days ago I sat in a meeting that I did not want to be at, with people I didn’t want to be around, talking about things I didn’t want to talk about. Nothing against them or any of that. It’s just that it was taking time away from thinking about myself and how things aren’t the way I want them. (Thinking about myself takes up a lot of time, ya know). Anyway, when it came time for me to read, what do ya know, the paragraph discussed prayer and “Thy will, not mine, be done.”  I always get the signs that I need when I need them. Doesn’t mean that I will listen or pay attention, but I am always getting messages.

Just for today. One day at a time.  

Luckily alcohol is no longer my solution, it’s doesn’t even cross my mind when I’m feeling low. Unfortunately though, I still have to let myself feel shitty enough to want to do something different.

Today I am choosing to do the opposite of what I want to do and what I am feeling. Writing this blog is the complete opposite action of what I want to do. I want to lay in bed and sulk. Instead I’m getting this shit off my chest and out of my brain. This morning I wanted to lay in bed, watch shitty TV, and sulk some more, but I went on a two mile jog. This afternoon I wanted to eat my feelings, chocolate cake sounded like it would do the trick, instead I chose a salad. Today I am choosing to accept that I am human doing the best that I can and so is everyone else.

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Tomorrow I might sulk all day, eat my feelings, flip everyone off on social media, and yell at someone for not doing what I want them to do, but for today I am choosing to be peaceful and mindful of others peoples feelings. I’m guessing that’s why they say ONE DAY AT A TIME?

This sobriety shit ain’t for the faint of heart!

Nobody said it would be easy, but they did say it would be worth it!!

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“Trying to be all zen and shit” selfie

 

 

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She Recovers NYC 2017

I remember reading A Year Without Alcohol by Kelly Fitzgerald, now Kelly Junco, and thinking “Holy shit, this girl has some balls”.  It was 2014 and I was around three months sober when I read her blog sharing about her year without alcohol and how great she felt now that she was sober. She even posted pics of herself all wasted. I couldn’t believe someone could be so brave, I was shocked and inspired. She was the first person I saw that was recovering out loud, like REALLY loud. There was no way I could ever do that, but I thought she was amazing and I wanted to be just like her. Except for the recovering out loud part.

 

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Kelly aka The Sober Senorita

I followed her though out my first year sober all the way up to my relapse on May 18th, 2015. It was soon after my relapse that I knew in my heart and mind that I had to share my story. It was the scariest thing I had ever done, being so open and honest, how would people respond? What would they say? But, I remembered Kelly and how she did it and if she could, maybe I could too. On October of 2015 I had the chance to meet her In Washington D.C. for the Unite To Face Addiction Rally. I kind of felt like a groupie lol.

 

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Holly creator of Hip Sobriety

I found that after I started sharing my story openly I began to connect with so many other women sharing their story too!  I found Holly Whitaker creator of Hip Sobriety and I knew I had to contact her. We had a brief phone conversation where she assured me I was on the right path and if I needed anything from her to call her but that I was already doing an a great job. Who would have guessed a few months after that conversation she  would ask me to be on the HOME podcast! Craziness!

 

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Marianne Williamson

Since then I have connected with so many women, some in recovery, some still trying to figure out their path and some have just been there for me when I was struggling. The online recovery community has been such a huge part of my journey. Not only do I have friends that are near by but I can go to any part of the country and have a friend that would probably make me coffee and let me sleep on her couch if I asked. And I would do the same for them in a heartbeat!

 

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Dawn Nickel creator of She Recovers

So when I heard that there would be a She Recovers conference in New York City I knew I had to be there. 500 other women like me?!?! As Dawn Nickel the creator of She Recovers says “We are all recovering from something” and she’s right. We are all recovering from something, we just don’t always talk about it. But here was our chance to come together as one, to talk about the hard stuff, to be with others that truly get it. To finally meet the ones that we’ve only connected with and admired from afar.

What A Magical Experience It Was!!

I got to see Kelly again and this time I didn’t feel like a groupie, it felt like old friends catching up. And I got to finally meet Holly. I got to meet Laura Ward of Quit Wining another mom in recovery that I follow and look up to. I met sober bloggers that I’ve been following and admiring finally IRL! I met Heidi Smith creator of Addicitive Designs, another one that I totally love and look up to. I met so many of the women that I’ve only chatted with on Instagram. In case you didn’t know, there is a HUGE recovery community on Instagram. It was incredible! I had multiple women ask how my son is doing, and they genuinely care. It felt like a room full of friends that had know each other forever. Not only that but we got to hear Glennon Doyle Melton, Gabby Bernstein, Elizabeth Vsargus, Elena Brower, Marianne Williamson, and a few other amazing ladies.

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Sober Bloggers

I’m still amazed by it!!

 

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Heidi of Addictive Designs

One of the best parts of the conference was on Friday evening when it had just began, I was filling up my water cup when a woman slowly walking by asks me if I’m Melissa. I told her I was and the look on her face makes me cry just thinking about it. She goes into saying how she has followed my blog and listened to my episode on the podcast and how much it has helped her. I wasn’t expecting that and I’m at a loss for words to describe how her words made me feel. Full of gratitude.  That right there is why I do this, if my story helps even one woman have hope then it’s all worth it. My biggest fear when coming out with my truth has been the fear of being judged, but when I hear someone say the things she said,  I know I’m on the right path.

I’m never alone! 

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Sober Bloggers

There just aren’t enough words to describe the experience. The conference reminded me that I’m never alone on this path, ever. None of us are ever alone. And when we speak our truth, we give others the courage to speak theirs too. Just like Kelly (The Sober Señorita)  did for me. I will be forever grateful for the women that came before lighting up the path letting women know it’s ok to own our stories and tell it like we don’t give a f^*k what others think.  Can’t wait for the next conference!!

My Heart Is Full

A few months ago I was contacted via Facebook on my Clean Life.Clean Home. page by a counselor at an alternative high school about twenty minutes from my house, asking me if I could come to her school and speak to the kids. She had Googled recovery and her zip code and I popped up her search. WOW!!

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When I read her message I totally freaked out. I thought to myself “ME?!?! She wants ME to speak to high school kids?!?! Absolutely not!” So I copied the message and sent it to my mom, who was super excited for me and said that I absolutely would go talk to them because I have a story to tell and even if one person in the room got something out of it then it would be worth it. After my anxiety calmed down I decided my mom was right, I messaged the counselor back and said I would do it.

Today that day came. I felt the nervousness and anxiety creeping up on me last night. I read over my notes from my conversation with Shane Watson from Not My Kid, he speaks to kids all the time and was kind enough to give me some pointers, I played it over in my head everything I would say. I stopped by an 8am meeting that is literally one minute away from the school, to see if any of my friends were there to give some words of encouragement. NOBODY was there! At least no one that I knew, so I left and sat outside the school for about twenty minutes checking the place out. I  had thoughts of backing out last minute. But then I figured I have already been through hell and back with my addiction, I CAN do this!

I spoke at the Ready To Shine event in March so why was this such a big deal?

It was pretty cool meeting the counselor for the first time. We had texted so much that it felt like we had already known each other for a while. I told her I talk to her more than I talk to my fiends that I’ve actually hung out with lol. Crazy how that works. She told me to relax, this is not a big deal, these kids are awesome. You’ll see, she said. She was right. 

I got up there and told my story nothing like I had planned, it felt like my voice was shaking the whole time, I held back tears which is not easy for me when talking about my kids, and I know I left some things out. Surprisingly though, I’m not over analyzing everything that I said.  Mainly because I can’t remember everything that was said which happens when I’m super nervous but also because before I went in I asked spirit  for the right words to come through me, the words that needed to be heard at that moment.

What was said was what needed to be heard. 

At the end of the talk I asked if any of them had questions, one person asked a question and it was a teacher. Then the counselor asked if there were any questions and no body asked one single question. I smiled but in my mind I was like “I totally sucked!!”

While thanking my friend for inviting me to speak, one of the girls came up to me and hugged me, she told me she was proud of me. Wow.  Another one told me of being in the same mental health hospital my son has been in. There were multiple high school kids waiting to talk to me after the other kids had already left. I couldn’t believe it! It makes me cry thinking about it. They were so sweet, so kind, so young. So much life ahead of them. I can’t believe some of the things I heard. It makes my heart hurt for them. It also makes me grateful that my kids don’t have to see me intoxicated ever again. It makes me so grateful that I am here today to tell my story.

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Then it dawned on me, I know why this is such a big deal! I see myself in them. I see the ME in high school that was trying so hard to fit in, feeling unsure of myself, misunderstood, craving acceptance, uncomfortable in my own skin. I feel for them. I want to hug them all and tell them that it does get better, that they don’t have to go down the same miserable hard path I chose. I wish I had had someone in high school get up in front of everyone and tell their ugly messy truth, someone to say Me Too,  maybe I would have chosen another path? Maybe. Maybe not.  I don’t know.

What I do know is when I left the school today I felt a high no drug or drink could ever compare to. Hearing their stories and connecting with them meant more to me than I could ever possibly explain. Their smiles, their hugs, their bravery. It took so much courage to come up and talk to a complete stranger about what’s going on in their lives. I know I would never have done that at that age. I’m so proud of them and will never forget this day for as long as I live.

Going to bed with a grateful heart tonight. It’s true when people say “Sobriety delivers everything alcohol/drugs promised”.

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37 Years Old

IMG_1534I turned 37 years old yesterday, January 29th 2017. It was also 621 days sober for me. Longest I have ever gone without a sip of alcohol.  It’s really is crazy to think how different life is these days. Had it been four or five years ago I would have been at the bar, kids at the sitter and I would have drank til I blacked out.  Of course the next morning I would have to piece together the night before and nursed my hangover, which more than likely included more alcohol. So grateful I don’t live that way anymore.

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Instead I woke up and went to work. My boyfriend and my kids surprised me at work with flowers, cards, a balloon and a cupcake. I waited on friends who tipped me well and to top it off my boss and my coworkers got me a $50 gift certificate to my favorite yoga shop. I finished off the day with a nice dinner at a yummy steak house.

Life is good today. I have so much to be grateful for. I’ve come a long way from where I used to be. Heck, life this time last year was completely different. On my 36th birthday I was only allowed one hour with my kids in a counselors office for a therapeutic visit. One hour!! Talk about coming a long way!

Life is FAR from perfect though. My relationship has it’s ups and downs (mainly because I can be a huge pain in the ass), my son has his own issues, life is crazy busy I barely have time to breathe at times, but overall I’m a lucky girl. None of this life would be possible if it wasn’t for recovery. If I didn’t wake up everyday and choose my kids, choose sobriety, choose LIFE, I wouldn’t have any of it. I have to make the conscious decision to keep going, even on the hard days. Because even on the hard days, recovery is always worth it.

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Finish The Story To The End

fullsizerenderHere it is Wednesday December 7th, 2016 and I can’t stop thinking about this past Sunday. It was just an ordinary Sunday, I happened to be off work and had plans to go Christmas shopping with my boyfriend after church. We take the kids to the same church they went to for a year while living with their foster family. We are all basically one big family now so whenever we are able to see them we take the chance. I am not a big church person and don’t necessarily consider myself religious, although I do like the feeling of community when I attend. I always hear something that I relate to when I go, so when I have a Sunday off we try to make it.

This time I heard exactly what I needed to hear and the pastors words are still running in my head.

“Your life is too short and your calling is too great to live offended”

Craig Groeschel 

I sat in the third row listening to the pastors words and this sudden urge to have a drink hit me. I had a vision in my head of me drinking a cold beer in a crowded bar, no worries and no where to be. I pushed to the side and kept listening to the message, forgive others just as we have been forgiven. Me and my boyfriend sat next to each other, all I could think about was our huge argument the night before. Hurtful words were said but nothing that wasn’t true. Sometimes the truth hurts, sometimes I need to hear it. And there I was listening to a talk about forgiveness and rising above negativity and hurt. I felt the tears coming. I held it back. I felt my heart open. I heard everything I needed to hear.

After church we went to lunch, a nice restaurant in the city, alone with no kids was nice. I apologized for my selfishness and self centered ways. I asked for forgiveness and it was so kindly given. The restaurant had a bloody mary bar, I had looked away as I went to the restroom. I sat in the stall wondering what the hell is wrong with me? Seriously a drink? WTF?!? Why now? I haven’t felt this way in 568 days. The last time I felt this way was a Sunday. Sunday used to be my biggest drinking day. Back before I had kids my Sunday mornings would start off with a hangover and a beer, followed by day drinking that usually ended with jail or a big fight with whoever I was with.

I started a blog to talk about all the difficult things that I have gone through and still go through, I questioned whether or not to talk about this  because I didn’t want to worry anyone, but then I remembered My Truth Starts Here and so here it is. I wanted a drink on Sunday. But truth is, I didn’t actually WANT a drink, I wanted the sense of ease that comes along with the first drink. That relaxing feeling like everything is right in the world, no worries and no place to be. I remember hearing multiple times in a meeting an old timer saying in his early days of sobriety he sat in a meeting about to jump out of his skin so he jumped up and said “I want a fucking drink so bad I can’t stand it!” and suddenly the urge didn’t have so much control over him.

So, I sat at the table with my boyfriend and said  “I want a drink and I don’t know why.” He was so calm as I explained to him that when I get things out of my head the thoughts don’t have so much control over me. Then I did what I have been taught, I finish the story to the end. Out loud.

I take the first drink and I feel relaxed. For a brief moment. Then the obsession begins. I immediately think about the next drink because it has NEVER been one drink. Ever. I now have lost all control over how many drinks I will have, where I will end up, who I will be with and what happens. I will drink until I blackout, forget about all responsibilities, I will start a fight with someone, pass out, and then wake up with the horrible dreaded knot in my stomach. Guilt and shame will consume me. I will have to clean up whatever mess I made, apologize for things that I said and did, and pray I don’t have more legal issues. I will feel the disappointment from friends and family, but most importantly I will feel the intense anger towards myself wondering how did this happen again. 

I know that story so well, I lived it many times. Over and over again I would tell myself that I was done and this time would be different, only to find myself at day one once again. My last day one was so painful that I won’t go there again, but I do know that I have a disease that tells me I don’t have a disease. It doesn’t care how well I’m doing, it’s still there lurking in the corner waiting until I let my guard down. It is patient and it is deadly. I know that I am lucky to have made it as far as I have, so many others don’t make it out alive. I have to stay aware.

I sat with the feelings, and I listened. The argument the night before bothered me. I was in the wrong. I don’t do well with being called out, I am very prideful. The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time of year but this time of the year is stressful to me. I’m anxious. My kids weren’t home this time last year so I want things to be perfect. Money is tight and it hasn’t been the last few years. I put too much pressure on myself to make everything perfect just like all those people on social media. Resentments. Resentments. Resentments.

I need to just let it go. I will drive myself crazy. I don’t need to control everything. When I try to control everything, me and everyone around me is miserable. Everything always works out better than I expect anyway. What a relief it is to remember that I don’t have to have it all figured out.

After I finished the story to the end, sat with the feelings and figured out what all of this was about, I reminded myself that “Life is too short and my calling is too great to live offended” Life is too short to hold on to resentments. My calling is too great to give in to the urge. Life is too short to be mad all the time. My calling is too great to sweat the small stuff. Life is too short to ever go back to day one. My calling is too great to not stare my addiction in the face and give it a big F*”k you!!!

Everyday I’m Just A Little Bit Better Than Before

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Today is one week since I stood in front of a mental health judge to discuss my son being in a mental hospital. I have never met this judge, nor has she ever met my son. She asked me why I thought I had had such a problem getting and staying sober, I was caught off guard, I hesitated before answering with “I don’t know.” She asked a few other questions about my past and then proceeded to tell me: I’m not looking at the bigger picture, I’m not well, how everything that I’m doing is not enough, and basically my son is not well because all I’ve done is remove the alcohol and not dealt with the underlying cause of my addiction. Seriously? She just met me.

If only I could explain to her for as long as I can remember I have felt uncomfortable in my own skin, even the thought of going to the grocery store sober would make my skin crawl and only alcohol made the discomfort disappear. I wish I could somehow make her understand how the voices in my head that tell me I’m not good enough and never will be were so loud, so unbearably loud, alcohol was the only thing that could give me some peace and quiet. And that I would chase that quiet, no matter how temporary, to the ends of the earth regardless of the consequences. If I could explain to her that the consequences thrown at me never hurt me enough to stop until I saw how bad it hurt my children, maybe she would see that I am serious about my recovery and I am serious about doing what’s best for my son. If only I could make her see that I wake up everyday and tell the voices they are wrong, I look my dis-ease in the face and say I will win. I wake up everyday and choose recovery because I know I’m worth it and so are my kids. I could have explained  when I got sober in May of 2015 God removed the voice that says “you can have just one drink, this time will really be different” and replaced it with “share your story to help others” and that every time I share my story, a piece of me heals.

I get it though, she’s jaded. She’s seen her fair share of parents that could care less about their kids. She’s seen too many moms that will not or can not take responsibility for their own actions. She’s watched people come in and out of her courtroom struggling with mental illness and addiction refusing to seek the help they desperately need. She doesn’t really see ME, in her eyes she sees an alcoholic mother whose actions have caused her son to be put into a mental hospital. She sees a lost cause. At least that’s what it felt like. It wouldn’t matter anyway. She already had decided who I was, what my problem is and why my son is struggling. Nothing I could say would make her see me any differently. Although, I can not take back the past as much as I would love to but I’m also not my past mistakes. I am not this sick person that she has made me out to be in her head.

I asked God to help me nod and just walk away with my tail between my legs. My prayer went unanswered and I “No, I wasn’t looking at the big picture before which is why I relapsed, I See the big picture now, that’s why I ask for help from the foster parents, my caseworker, my friends, I am not trying to do this alone like the last time this happened.” She wasn’t impressed.

It takes a lot for me to get up there and say maybe I’m not what my son needs right now, maybe he needs help that I am not able to fully provide at the moment but maybe the foster family can. Maybe we can all do this together as one big family unit. It takes a lot of courage to push my pride to the side and say I can’t do this alone, I need help.  If that’s not looking at the bigger picture then I don’t know what is!  

My friend and sister in sobriety, Holly Whitaker creator of Hip Sobriety, posted something on her Facebook that I keep going back to because this is how I felt when I was being attacked by the judge. At least it felt like I was being attacked. No, it wasn’t coming from another woman in recovery but it felt the same regardless. Doesn’t matter how comfortable in my own skin I am now, that shit hurt.

“This morning I had that weird thing happen, where someone I didn’t really know projected their recovery all over me. And let me just tell you that it doesn’t matter how strong I am in my own skin and path, it never fails to shake me when someone has the audacity to tell me how my process should be going, what I should and shouldn’t feel, or make assumptions about me and my health, mental well-being, and self-love based on 3 sentences. 
Nothing feels more destructive and unsafe than being judged for how we heal, or where we are in our process.
Nietzsche said “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” 
Remember that. Just because something is true for you, worked for you, doesn’t mean it’s true for another human being. And conversely, if anyone ever tries to tell you that your way is wrong or invalidate what is true for you, remember it’s just their shit.
If we are ever going to make progress in this space, it has to start with us, and it has to taste like tolerance for all ways. Supporting someone never looks like thinking we know better about how a human should live her life than that human herself.”
-Holly Whitaker

My relationship with alcohol was a toxic relationship. An abusive relationship is what I compare it to, although I’ve never been beaten and bruised by a boyfriend, I imagine the hopeless feeling I felt is somewhat like that of a woman being hit by a man she loves. I would want so badly to stop, but when I tried, there it was reminding me of all the good times we had together and how it would go back to that if only I would give it one more chance. And it would be good for a little while, but then there I would be, broken and in despair wondering how I got there once again. It’s a sick viscous cycle that I’m grateful to have gotten out alive. Many do not get out alive. If it’s not the damage alcohol does to your body that kills, it’s one of the many horrific accidents that alcohol causes that takes us down. Worse than that is the stigma around addiction that causes many people struggling to stay in the shadows and not seek the help they need. I sometimes consider myself lucky that I’ve been in as much trouble as I have, if not for the law breathing dow my neck over the years I don’t know if I’d be sober today. What about the ones that don’t have the legal issues like I do but still need help? God has called me to be a voice for them, to help fight the stigma, to stand up say F*^K YOU, I’m no less than you just because I can’t tolerate alcohol the “normal” way. What the f*^k is normal anyway? Society says drinking is good but saying you have a problem is bad, you must be able to ingest this drug that causes more deaths than any all other legal and prescription drugs combined otherwise something is wrong with YOU.

This sad story is another reason we have to stand up to the stigma, maybe this teacher would be alive today.

“70% of us drink. Which means, 70% of us gamble to see whether we’ll be one of 30% of drinkers that abuse it, or one of the 10% that die from it. 3 out of 10 drinkers abuse, 1 out of 10 die. It’s not just some rando woman who couldn’t keep her shit together. This is the picture of us. This is our story. Some of us get out alive. Many do not.”  -Holly Whitaker

Thankfully I know me and I know my recovery well enough to know that regardless of what that judge may think of me, I know that I’m doing one hell of a job taking care of what needs to be done for me and my kids. Her words could have easily sent me in a downward spiral, but what she actually gave me was a gift. The gift of motivation and determination. I’m already determined everyday to kick my addictions ass but I’m also hard headed and stubborn so when she spews her judgements at me without actually knowing me or my story, it only motivates me more to be better and do better.  Everyday I am just a little bit better than yesterday. Grateful for everyday I wake up sober.

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Guest Post: Rose Lockinger – Why I’m Uncomfortable With Being Comfortable In My Own Skin

 

Changing the meaning of word. Uncomfortable into Comfortable.

 

For so many years I hated myself. I hated the way I looked. I hated the way I felt and I hated the way I acted. It was almost as if I had some innate hate machine inside of me, never allowing me to be comfortable and driving me towards self-destruction. I was filled with resentment and anger towards many people in my life.  I wish I could say now that I am sober I no longer struggle with resentments.  Unfortunately this is not the case, however what I can say is that I now have a way to deal with them

If you look at it, no person who actually loves themselves drank or used drugs the way that I did. The two things could not coexist with each other and so my self-hatred fueled my alcoholism and in return my alcoholism fueled my self-hatred.

This changed though when I got sober and I began the long process of self discovery and acceptance that has lead me to where I am today. I no longer abuse drugs or alcohol in order to deal with reality and I no longer feel the need to run from myself because I feel like I am a terrible human being.

That being said though, I still find the idea of being comfortable in my own skin uncomfortable. That may sound confusing, but it isn’t really. I basically just mean that I am not always comfortable with the idea of being okay with myself. I still sometimes today find that when I am feeling good about myself or when I look in the mirror and like what I see, I am afraid that I am being arrogant and so I attempt to cut myself down to size in order to not become overly egoistic.

I am not really sure where this came from. The best explanation that I can come up with is that I have some how managed to pervert a thought from recovery to an extreme. See humility is something that we are taught to strive for. We are taught in Alcoholics Anonymous to not get too full of ourselves because if we do we run the risk of relapsing and so I find that I am always on the lookout for my ego and its shifty lies.

This however has resulted in my inability to be totally comfortable with myself. For instance I know that I am a good person at this point in my life. I know that I care about others and genuinely want to see people succeed, but I cannot fully accept the fact that I am a good person. This may have something to do with the fact that I still carry guilt from my active addiction, but I believe that it more so has to do with my fear that if I really accept the positive things about myself, I will be unable to control my ego and then I will fall back into the pitfalls of addiction.

I can understand how this may sound like over thinking and you may be correct, but I also believe that it is something that a lot of people in recovery suffer from, an ability to truly accept themselves and be comfortable in their own skin. You hear it at a lot of meetings, just said in different ways. People will say things like I am not okay when everything in my life is going well, or I don’t know what to do when I get praise from people. Most of the time this is chalked up to operating under calamitous conditions for so many years, but I have begun to think that it is because a lot of us are just afraid to be alright.

We sort of feel like we have to continuously remind ourselves of how awful we were in our active addiction because we feel like we still need to pay penance, and while this may be true to a certain extent, it really does nothing but hurt us in the long run.

I was thinking about this the other night when I was having trouble sleeping. My mind instantly went to the fact that I must be having trouble sleeping because of something that I did. Almost as if God was punishing me for some unknown sin that I had done throughout the day. This is not the first time that I have had a thought like this before, but this time I realized how false it was. I realized that God just wants me to be happy. He would want me to sleep, and that more than likely my insomnia was caused by me and only me. After this I fell quickly to sleep and didn’t wake up till the morning.

The longer that I have stayed sober the more I have realized that I am the problem. I am my own worst enemy and my sobriety is really a battle against myself. One way that my alcoholism attacks me is that it tries to keep me from truly loving and accepting myself. When I get too comfortable it tells me I should feel guilty about this and that I am not really as good as I think I am.

The reality is that I should be comfortable in my own skin. I do my best on a daily basis to be a good human being and what’s more, I like who I am today. There is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to voice my mind and stand up for who am I and as long as I trust in God and keep doing the things I need to do for my program, I shouldn’t have to worry that accepting myself will lead to an overinflated ego and a drink.

I think it’ll be interesting to see where these trains of thought go over the next year and I am excited to become more and more comfortable in my own skin. I hope by this time next year I will be writing how I have come to accept and love myself and I hope that the same comes true for you.

 

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Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

 

You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram

One Day At A Time


If you’re one of the millions of people on Facebook, then I’m sure you’ve received the daily “memories” notifications. I know I have, I get to see where I was and what was going on in my life on that particular day several years ago. Most days I think to myself “awwww that is so sweet” but some days I want to tell Facebook to go F^*k itself. Honestly though, I need to see some of the memories, I like being reminded of how far I’ve come. My life was a mess for a long time and I get to see all of it, thanks to good ole Facebook!

I read a post by someone that I truly admire in the recovery community and as a writer and just as a woman in general, she’s a badass. Her name is Laura Mckowen I love her. Her post discussed jealousy and she posted pictures that make it look like her life is amazing but told the story behind the picture. My first thought was yeah right, Laura jealous?!?! No way! Her life is amazing! How could she ever be jealous of anyone? 

But, then l looked at the pictures and read the stories behind them and thought WOW. That’s what I used to do, actually I’m guilty of that now too. I used to try to make my life seem SO amazing and make it seem that I had no cares in the world. I don’t know if I was fooling anyone in reality, but it helped me to feel somewhat a normal human being when I got a “like” on a picture that really had a whole other story behind it. I mean come on, who wants to put out there that life sucks and it’s difficult and it’s a struggle to get out of bed somedays? I catch myself getting so jealous of people on the internet  and their “amazing” lives, that I forget that there is a story behind the picture.

I got a notification this morning from Facebook telling me that I had memories that I needed to look at. There were some funny things that I had posted in the previous years but then some pictures came up that look like everything in my life was going beautifully. But, it wasn’t. Life was a mess. So I decided to copy my friend Laura and do a pictured/not pictured post also.

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Pictured: September 8, 2013, three years ago today,me looking all happy with a beautiful horse. Life is grand and all is well in world.

Not Pictured: I was super hungover. I had worked that day and rushed home to get some beers in me before me and my kids did a photo shoot out on a farm. I needed someone to take us to the photoshoot because I couldn’t start my car, my interlock prevents me from starting my car if I have been drinking, my biggest enabler took us to the photoshoot and had a cooler in the car for me with more beers. I couldn’t wait for the photoshoot to be over so we could get to the restaurant so I could down some wine before going home and finishing off some more beers and putting the kids to bed.

Three months later dhs would come to my home and remove my kids and put them into dhs custody.

The photographer sent me a CD with all the pictures from the shoot on it, I never printed them. I couldn’t. I felt disgusted with myself. All I could see was a drunk mom who was so uncomfortable in her own skin she had to drink before a photoshoot with her kids. I couldn’t even stand to be sober for a few hours to take photos with my kids. It makes me sad to look back at that day, but also makes me grateful that I don’t have to live that way anymore.

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Pictured: September 6, 2016, me looking all happy spreading HOPE and wearing my “I Am Enough” shirt I so kindly received in the mail from my friends at pluspproductions I talk about having my kids home again and how we are all growing everyday.

Not Pictured: My son was throwing one of his tantrums, he straight up refused to do anything that was asked of him. He destroyed his room, after he said really hurtful words and packed his bags like he was going to move back to the family he lived with for a year.  I got sucked into his tornado. He drained every ounce of energy I had in me. It was a long night and an exhausting morning. I cried all day the next day. I had to dish out some extreme consequences that hurt me to do. I’m a lover, I want to love him up all the time and hope that it works itself out but he doesn’t work that way. His consequences gotta hurt, they gotta punch him right in the gut (not literally) before  he’ll GET IT! Just like his momma!! Always learning the hard way!

Thank God I have a support team that walked me through it, but damn it I was determined to make it look like I was good and life was grand. When I was in my funk yesterday I had to keep off social media as much as possible, I was dishing out F*^k you’s left and right! I had to stop myself and remember that being jealous of what people post on Facebook is not healthy, plus who knows what the story is behind the picture.

Pictured: Today!! September 8, 2016, I have not cried at all today. I have not felt jealous of anyone today, not even once. I have only a little mascara on, I’m sweaty from a walk, I listened to Glennon Doyle Melton on the HOME podcast.  I had an amazing morning with my kids. It’s a good day.

One day at a time.

 

Merry-Go-Round

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Have you ever been in a relationship that feels like a merry-go-round? You’re on this ride that feels like it will never end, you keep spinning and spinning and you never go anywhere. At times it’s all shiny and pretty and so much fun! Other times you feel dizzy and sick, and you want to just STOP already. Just when it feels like you’ve got both feet back on steady ground, you’re pulled back on and you’re off the races again. Just spinning and spinning and spinning. You think to yourself HOW.  How am I still going round and round with this person that is so obviously toxic for me?

I’m on steady ground now. I hope to stay here. I am done going round and round with a person that I’ve been riding the merry-go-round with for way too long. 

I’m coming up on 16 months sober from a long time struggle with alcohol. Not only am I in recovery from the booze but I am also a recovering people pleaser. I like to please people. I like people to like me. It’s taken me a long time to be able to say no without dwelling on it for days, wondering if “they” will still like me. It’s taken me a long time to be able to stand up for myself without my legs shaking and my stomach turning, wondering if I might die from disappointing someone. My need for others approval has kept me from truly growing up, from truly becoming the woman that I was meant to be.

I’ve had sex for “his” approval. I’ve had sex for money. I’ve had sex for alcohol. I’ve had sex for drugs.  I’ve had sex to feel loved.  I’ve had sex for a material things. I’ve had sex because I felt it was expected of me. I’ve had sex I regretted.  I’ve had sex because I felt obligated. I’ve had sex that I don’t remember saying yes to. I’ve had sex because I wanted “him” to be happy. I’ve had sex because I didn’t know I could say no.

Too. Many. Damn. Times. I’ve had sex because I thought the other persons happiness was more important than mine. Too many damn times I said yes when I REALLY really wanted to say no. Too. Many. Times. It hurts to think about it.

This merry-go-round of a friendship slash relationship slash toxic friends with benefits slash whatever the f^*k you want to call it has lasted for so long, mainly because every time I try to end it, I’m guilted right back into it. I’m reminded over and over of all the things he’s done for me and how I basically owe him my life, my body, my self respect. His “no strings attached” are in actuality invisible strings that keep the old me and the new me still hanging on by a thread. They keep me from fully moving into the new me and my new life. Yes, all of the material things are awesome. Yes, they do make me feel happy, but it’s always temporary. All the things he does for me and my kids “out of the kindness of his heart” he makes mental note of so he can throw it in my face every time I try to move on. And I’m tired.  I’m dizzy.

I look back at my years of drinking and the relationships I participated in. Toxic relationship after toxic relationship. Same type of relationship just different faces. All based on what I could get out of it, what was in it for me. How much money and stuff could that person give me. Me. Me. Me. I wanted all you had and then some, and I was willing to give up my self esteem and self respect just as long as I got the “stuff” whatever the stuff happened to be. Money, cars, shopping sprees, trips, alcohol, cocaine. Anything that would fill the void, anything that would distract me from what was really going on. What was really going on was my job was sex. It wasn’t fun or pleasurable, so lots of alcohol had to be put into me before I could be comfortable in my own skin, before I could make “him” happy. The “him” of the moment depended on who was giving the most stuff to fill the void in my heart. Merry-go-round after merry-go-round, get off one and hop right on another. Same story different person.

I went to church last night where I had the privilege of hearing a man  very close to my family preach. He was my kids foster dad for a year while I put myself back together after a horrific one day relapse that ended in my children being taken out of my home. They are no longer the foster family, they are just family now. His words spoke to me in so many ways but one thing stood out. He spoke of a broken woman who was living with a man and exchanging sex for rent, then she meets Jesus. Jesus did not judge but instead he offers her something better. He offers her a new way of life. Eternal life. I relate to this woman. 

I am not a religious person. There are so many things that I can’t wrap my head around when it comes to God and Jesus and the bible. I’v been looked down on by people that call themselves christians. I have been judged because I had kids out of wedlock. I do NOT understand that way of thinking. But like his experience that he preached about last night, I’ve tried reaching for the next drug, the next drink, the next relationship and the next material thing but it never fills the void.

I have always loved being taken care of and I have always loved for people to do things for me. I’ve always needed a knight in shining armor to come save me from my self destructive ways. I have always needed someone to be there when I fell, which was actually quite often. I always needed an enabler. Or at least I thought I needed all of that. But what I was actually doing to myself was prolonging the “becoming an adult and taking care of my own mess” part of life. Instead I became a selfish and entitled brat that wanted everything handed to me, and it was all handed to me, but it came with a price. It came with strings. It came with fear of doing things on my own. It came with the fear of letting my walls down and letting true love in. It came with the fear of failure and it came with self doubt. It came with the feeling of being owned by “him” with all the money.

So today I am choosing to let it all go. Let go of the fear, the worry, the doubt, the stress, and just see what happens. I’m choosing to have faith in the unknown. I’m willing to open my heart to the possibilities. I’m willing to let go of what is not serving my higher self. I’m willing to consider Jesus. I’m willing to consider. 

Maybe, just maybe, I can have a life beyond my wildest dreams. Maybe I can also feel the peace that the preacher talked last night about having.  Maybe I can have the same type of beautiful relationship that he has with his wife. Maybe just considering I can have all of this is the first step to receiving it.

Maybe it’s already here……

 

 

 

No Filter

imageI took this picture early in morning this past weekend on a walk. I have no makeup on and I’m sweaty. I decided to post it on social media with no filter added. I have no clue what made me do that. It’s a big deal for me to post a picture of me with no makeup on. I despise my blonde eyes lashes. One of my friends that I’ve known forever even mentioned that she doesn’t remember ever seeing me without mascara. And we’ve known each other at least twenty years!!!

The fact that I’m willing to leave my house these days without makeup is a huge deal  I spent years piling on the makeup, and I still love to doll myself up sometimes, but not to the extent that I would go to in the past. I NEVER would have let myself leave the house without mascara! In fact I spent so many nights downing wine that I didn’t bother to remove my makeup. Mornings were such a blur, I’d throw on more mascara over the night befores and head out for the day. The more makeup I had on the better.

I ran into a guy a few months ago that lives in my town, he’s a driver and had driven me around a few times when I was bar hopping. He didn’t recognize me, I reminded him of the times he drove me around to different bars. He just stared at me for a moment and then said “You look different, you don’t have so much makeup on. Looks good” It got me thinking.

I remember when my children were removed from my home for the first time back in December of 2013, it was a Friday night. I was hysterical, I felt lost, I was physically sick and mentally destroyed. But, I had to work early the next morning. After crying myself to sleep, I woke up and wore the cutest shirt I could find and piled on the makeup, I put my best fake smile on and went to work. You would have never known CPS had taken my kids the night before. I covered up the hurt and the pain with layers of makeup and a pretty little smile. The worse I felt about myself the more dolled up I had to be. I couldn’t let anyone see the REAL me. What would say if they knew how disgusting I really was under all the makeup and cute clothes? I couldn’t let myself be found out, I needed to hide. I hated myself.

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I lived like that for years. The more I drank, the more bad decisions I made, the more I had to drink to forget those bad decisions, the more I had to pretend it was all perfect. And the cycle continues over and over again. Until there isn’t enough makeup to cover up the hate and disgust I felt for myself, until finally I let go of the need to be perfect, until I finally decided to own my truth. Until I finally let my truth be known. Today I don’t have to hide under anything. I can just be me. Perfectly imperfect ME. I still LOVE my mascara don’t get me wrong lol, but I don’t wear it to hide last nights mistakes anymore.

Today I can look at myself in the mirror and love who I see looking back at me. I don’t have to hide who I am under loads of mascara so people will only focus on the outside, I’m ok with them seeing who I truly am today, inside and out. It’s been a long bumpy road to this place of self love and self acceptance, and there is still a long way to go. But one day at a time I love myself just a little bit more. One day at a time I choose to own my truth and one day at a time I do the next right thing. Just for today, I love and accept myself fully and completely.

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